(Image: West Yorkshire Police)

A 33-year-old man, Junaid Shafiq, who brandished a knife at a 14-year-old girl, threatening to harm her, has been sentenced to jail for his involvement in a crime spree. The series of incidents included verbal abuse towards police officers and a violent assault on a man outside a McDonald’s in Huddersfield.

The chain of events began in February 2023 when Shafiq was found injured in Huddersfield town center and subsequently arrested for being drunk and disorderly. At the Infirmary, he verbally abused officers, using offensive language. Attempts to restrain him led to physical resistance, including kicking out at an officer.

On May 20 of the same year, Shafiq approached a 14-year-old girl near Castleford Bus Station, wielding a knife and threatening her with the words, “I’m going to f****** shank you up.” The girl managed to escape, and Shafiq was later apprehended by the police, wearing a balaclava and holding the knife to his stomach to simulate self-harm, reported Yorkshire Live.

Several months later, on August 16, Shafiq assaulted a man outside a McDonald’s in Huddersfield following a verbal altercation. The attack involved punching the man in the head, causing him to fall to the ground, where Shafiq proceeded to stamp on his head multiple times. Security eventually intervened, and Shafiq, after initially attempting to shake the man’s hand, walked away. The victim sustained injuries to the head and chest.

During the court proceedings, it was revealed that Shafiq had a significant criminal record with 25 previous convictions for 46 offenses, including being drunk and disorderly, low-level assaults, and assaults on emergency workers.

In court, Shafiq pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity, acknowledging responsibility for his actions. His defense lawyer, Matthew Stewart, highlighted the impact of drug and alcohol abuse on Shafiq’s mental health, emphasizing the need for rehabilitation in a custody setting. Stewart also noted the recent loss of Shafiq’s grandmother as a contributing factor to his behavior.

Judge Khokhar handed Shafiq an extended sentence of six years, consisting of four years in custody and a two-year extended license period. The sentence covered various charges, including assaulting an emergency worker, causing intentional alarm, harassment or distress, affray, possession of a bladed article, and section 18 assault. Shafiq will be eligible for parole after serving two-thirds of his custodial sentence, subject to the Parole Board’s evaluation of his safety for release.

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